What men find attractive in different parts of the world

BY PAM WRIGHT, B.J, M.ED

There is nothing more enticing
to a man than a beautiful woman. They say that beauty is in the eye of the
beholder, and all women are beautiful to the man who thinks she is the
prettiest creature on Earth.
But not every man has the same
standard of beauty, and this is never more apparent than when taking a gander
at various cultures throughout the world to see what men consider beautiful.
I’ve had the privilege of
traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures. It has been
fascinating and sometimes surprising to learn what is considered attractive to
men in other countries. From women having large feet and filed, pointy teeth in
Bali, to lip and ear-stretching rituals in parts of Africa and South America,
it’s easy to see that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, even if some
beauty practices may seem truly odd to Americans.
Here is a look at some of the
standards of beauty around the world.
The long-necked women of
Myanmar




We’ve all seen images of the
Karen women in parts of Myanmar and Thailand who wear heavy, brass rings around
their neck. The group of people known as the “long-neck” or
“giraffe” tribe is really a sub-group of the Padaung. The seemingly
odd practice makes a woman more attractive to a possible mate because it is a
sign of beauty and wealth.
Although it may appear to many
Westerners that it must be torture for a woman to undergo the lengthening of
her neck, this is really just a myth. In fact, the brass rings create a visual
illusion, making the woman’s neck simply appear longer. “The weight of the
rings pushes down the collar bone, as well as the upper ribs, to such an angle
that the collar bone actually appears to be a part of the neck,” notes the
website.
Kayan long neck women begin
wearing the rings by the age of four or five, with more rings added as they
become accustomed to the weight. These rings can weigh up to 25 pounds.
Women on Iran like to show off
their nose jobs




Nose jobs aren’t that uncommon
in the United States, but Iran has become the rhinoplasty capital of the world.
Women are so proud of going under the knife that they will continue to wear
their bandages long after they’re needed, in order to show off their beauty.
Still others will purchase surgical tape to wear even if they haven’t undergone
the procedure.
Because women’s bodies and
hair are covered by a hijab and it makes little sense to spend money on
clothes, they are keen to spend their money to enhance what people can see.
“They have become more
fashion conscious because they are deprived of it,” author of Reading
Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi, told ABC News. “Every woman likes to be
happy, likes to be secure, likes to look good, to feel good, and Iranians are
no different.” Well said.
Stretched earlobes and a
shaved head is a beauty standard in Kenya and other parts of Africa




Members of the Masai tribe in
Africa are known for their practice of wearing heavy jewelry made of stones or
elephant tusks to stretch their earlobes over time.
As time goes by, a woman’s
status in the Masai tribe, as well as other tribes in Africa, is heightened by
how large and elongated her earlobes have become. To draw attention to their
elongated earlobes, Masai women will adorn them with brightly colored beads and
jewelry to attract attention to their impressive size.
Lip stretching in parts of
Africa and South America are considered attractive to men




Many Americans may consider a
lip plate a form of body mutilation, but to a Mursi or Suri woman in Ethiopia,
it denotes female maturity, signaling that she has reached child-bearing age.
The process includes the
removal of the two lower front teeth before a piercing is made to allow a heavy
clay or wooden disk to adorn and stretch the lower lip. Like ear stretching,
larger and larger disks are inserted over time to further elongate the lip. The
larger the disk becomes, the greater the beauty, as it signifies maturity,
which is an attractive attribute to a male of the tribe.
The practice is also found in
parts of South America.
Māori women sport tattoos in
New Zealand



Māori women in New Zealand
have traditionally adorned a tattoo on their chin as a means to attract a mate.
The sacred tradition is known as Ta Moko. Each moko is different and includes
ancestral tribal information specific to the wearer. The moko also displays the
woman’s family and tribal affiliations, as well as her social status within her
tribe.
While both men and women are
tattooed, the main reason for women to tattoo their lips and chins is for
beauty. “They are tattooed on their lips and chins and the more fuller
their lips, the more beautiful they are considered in their community,”
says blogger Katie Wake-Ramos, who travels the globe, studying the concepts of
beauty in different cultures.
The practice has changed over
time, but it is still a draw for a Māori man. “Ta moko today is much more
than a fashion statement, a passing fad for Māori,” said Dr. Ngahuia Te
Awekotuku, a professor of psychology at Waikato University. “It is about
who we are, and whom we come from. It is about where we are going, and how we
choose to get there. And it is about for always, forever.”
Women in many Asian countries
will avoid the sun at all costs




Women in many Asian countries
abhor the sun because pale skin is a sign of beauty and desirability. I lived
in South Korea for many years, and it was not uncommon to see women walking
outside sporting huge “ajumma visors” to keep the sun from hitting
their faces. These women also kept their bodies covered from head to toe, even
in the hottest of months to keep their skin from tanning.
I came to learn that,
historically speaking, if you were tanned, it meant that you were a poor
peasant who had to work outdoors. Pale skin, on the other hand, depicted the
life of luxury and wealth. Korean women who can afford it will also spend a
great deal of money on creams to whiten their skin. In fact, a 2009 report from
Global Industry Analysts said skin-lightening was a $10 billion industry
worldwide. GIA was projecting that the number would surpass $23 billion by
2020.
I always found it interesting
that I felt so much more desirable to men with a tan, while my Korean friends
longed for just the opposite.
Mauritania men preferred women
with fuller figures, but that is changing




In the African country of
Mauritania, drought and famine is common, so being overweight has traditionally
been a sign of prosperity.
A heavier woman has been so
desirable that girls as young as seven were sent to fat farms and urged to eat
in order to put on weight. The BBC News reported some of these girls at
fat-farms could end up weighing between 130 to 220 pounds. Thankfully, this
practice is beginning to go by the wayside.
“That’s not how people
think now,” said Leila — a woman who had been fattened as a child.
“Traditionally, a fat wife was a symbol of wealth. Now we’ve got another
vision, another criteria for beauty. Young people in Mauritania today, we’re
not interested in being fat as a symbol of beauty. Today to be beautiful is to
be natural, just to eat normally.”
Indian women accessorize with
henna for special occasions




Women in India adorn nose
rings, bindis and henna to make themselves more attractive, especially on important
occasions such as weddings or festivals. Cosmetic company L’Oréal notes that
the Indian culture has always considered beauty an expression of godliness and
something to be revered. Like many other countries, women seek lighter skin and
will spend a great deal of money for skin-lightening creams.
“While eyeliner, jeweled
and dyed bindis, and henna-stained hands and feet have defined beauty for
centuries, Bollywood presents another facet of Indian beauty where color,
shimmer and gloss are the order of the day,” says L’Oréal. “Despite
the size of the country and its regional diversity, this Bollywood-reinforced
pan-Indian ideal of beauty is based on very specific criteria: fair skin, a
silhouette with feminine curves, big expressive eyes, and long, dark, shiny
hair.”
Body scarification in Africa
and other parts of the world is a sign of beauty




Scarification is a popular
tradition throughout the world and in many different cultures from the Western
Pacific to South America to parts of Africa. In many of these cultures, both
men and women undergo the painful process of scarification, but women tend to
scar their torsos and chest because it is considered sensual and intriguing.
Like the tattoos of the Māori
tribe in New Zealand, the scars can send a message about the woman’s social
status, political or religious roles, and her genealogy.
“Most importantly, [it’s
done for] personal beauty, since in many cases, the scars are used to mark
stages in a young girls life, her transformation from childhood to
adulthood,” says Wake-Ramos. “Finally, when her scars are finished,
she is allowed to marry — and to men, women with fashionable scars are more
sexually appealing and attractive. Therefore, likely to bear more children. In
the terms of our society, they think those scars are hot.”
French men like their women
‘au naturel’




There is nothing more
appealing to a French man than the au naturel look that many French women
espouse. While many cultures choose heavy makeup, many women in France opt for
the natural look, which consists of little to no make-up. Instead, they
accentuate their natural beauty with muted and warm tones. “What we want
is to be ourselves — not a better version of ourselves,” said French
makeup artist Violette in a Vogue interview. “We feel like it’s better to
be used to something than to try to change it. So we think: What style can I
have with this face, and with this hair?”
To look their best with
minimal makeup, French women work hard to keep their skin in great condition
with creams and other cosmetics. “French women treat their ‘base’ as best
as they can—so we try to have amazing skin, and an amazing body, and amazing
hair, so we don’t have to do too much else,” said Violette.
French women sometimes take
their au naturel look to the extreme. While less common today, French women
also have opted to embrace their natural body hair rather than shave or wax it
off like other Western cultures. That’s one beauty secret I won’t be including
in my regimen.
Being uniquely you is
beautiful in all cultures




No matter your culture or
where you come from, remember that what makes a woman especially beautiful and
attractive is her ability to be her unique and special self. No man can resist
a woman who is comfortable and confident in her own skin, so embrace who you
are, both inside and out, and your place in the world.
That is true beauty.




SOURCE: THE LIST
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.